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NATO Officially Adds New Member State

via CNN
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Sweden officially became the 32nd member of NATO on Wednesday, ending nearly 80 years of military non-alignment.

The accession comes two years after Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking concerns for other countries on Russia’s borders like Sweden.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called it a “historic day” that makes the alliance stronger through Sweden’s military capabilities and defense industry.

“This is a historic day. Sweden will now take its rightful place at NATO’s table, with an equal say in shaping NATO policies and decisions,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. “After over 200 years of non-alignment Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, the ultimate guarantee of Allies’ freedom and security.”

“Sweden brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defence industry,” Stoltenberg added. “Sweden’s accession makes NATO stronger, Sweden safer and the whole Alliance more secure. Today’s accession demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open and that every nation has the right to choose its own path.”

Membership ensures Sweden is protected by Article 5, NATO’s collective defense clause, activated after 9/11.

Sweden follows Finland in joining NATO since the war in Ukraine, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “changed everything” by showing Russia would threaten its neighbors.

“Swedes realized something very profound: that if Putin was willing to try to erase one neighbor from the map, then he might well not stop there,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson described the accession as both “historic” and “humbling” for Sweden, pledging the country will live up to NATO expectations through unity and solidarity.

“We are humbled, but we are also proud,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said. “We will live up to high expectations from all NATO allies. United we stand. Unity and solidarity will be Sweden’s guiding light.”

Sweden’s entrance into the alliance demonstrates NATO’s open-door policy and nations’ sovereignty to choose their own security arrangements in response to Russia’s actions.

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